Private equity fund Carlyle Group is preparing to launch the sale of its Gabon-focused oil and gas producer Assala Energy, hoping to raise over $1 billion amid high global energy prices, industry sources said.
Carlyle International Energy Partners, the fund's energy arm, first invested in Assala in 2017 when it acquired Shell's operations in Gabon for $628 million.
Assala, in 2019, acquired onshore exploration blocks. It has increased its production and reserves in recent years and today produces around 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the West African country.
The sale process, which investment bank Citi runs, is expected to be launched in the coming weeks and could raise over $1 billion, according to two sources close to the process.
Carlyle was one of several private equity funds that acquired oil and gas assets all around the world in the 2010s from companies such as Shell, BP, and Exxon Mobil that were looking to shed ageing oilfields and refineries.
Soaring oil and gas prices for the past year offer a favourable backdrop for energy companies to sell assets. However, the long-term outlook for fossil fuel prices remains uncertain as economies shift to low-carbon energy.
Carlyle has other investments which include North Sea-focused Neptune Energy and European refiner Varo Energy.
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